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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pathogenesis of cholesteryl lipidosis of adrenocortical and ovarian interstitial cells in F344 rats caused by tricresyl phosphate and butylated triphenyl phosphate.

Triaryl phosphates including tricresyl phosphate (TCP) and butylated triphenyl phosphate (BTP) are organophosphates used in the commercial manufacture of plastics, lubricants, and hydraulic fluids. Rat steroidogenic tissues such as adrenocortical (AC), ovarian interstitial (OI), and Leydig cells use an intracellular pathway to store cholesterol (substrate for biosynthesis of steroid hormones) as cholesteryl ester (CE). This pathway and the pathway for uptake of serum cholesterol are less used in Leydig cells of the adult male rat, resulting in a lower CE pool. BTP and TCP caused cholesteryl lipidosis in steroid hormone-synthesizing AC and OI, but not Leydig cells in the adult rat. The objectives of this study were to determine if the administration of triaryl phosphate fluids caused a defect in the cholesterol storage pathway of AC and OI cells and to determine the mechanism of action. Female rats received daily oral doses of 0 or 0.4 g/kg TCP in sesame oil vehicle or 1.7 g/kg neat BTP for 40 days. Adrenal glands from both treatment groups and ovaries from TCP-treated rats were heavier than controls. Microscopic and biochemical studies revealed cholesteryl lipidosis composed of CE in the adrenal glands and ovaries in BTP- and TCP-treated rats with the latter group affected most severely. The activity of neutral CE hydrolase (nCEH), an enzyme that converts CE to cholesterol in the uptake and storage pathways, also was inhibited most in the TCP-treated group (97% inhibition compared to that of control). The activity of acyl coenzyme A:cholesterol acyl transferase, an enzyme that esterifies cholesterol to make CE, was depressed 27% compared to that of control adrenal glands of the TCP group, resulting in elevated intracellular cholesterol levels in AC cells. An inhibition of nCEH in the storage and uptake pathways by triaryl phosphates most likely resulted in the striking accumulation of CE in cytoplasmic lipid droplets of AC and OI cells in F344 rats.[1]


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